It took 143 starts and more than a few disappointments and bumps along the way, but Bubba Wallace is finally a NASCAR Cup Series race winner. Wallace, who earned Cup career victory No. 1 in Monday’s rain-shortened race at Talladega Superspeedway, will undoubtedly arrive at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL this weekend feeling like the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders. And he’ll probably have a little extra bounce in his step, too.
“I was one of those people that was telling myself that I haven’t won,” Wallace said. “It’s tough to kind of get out of that mentality. It’s like, man, you just want to go out and compete and win. … I just appreciate everybody that’s in my camp to help me stay focused on the things that matter and eliminate the BS I have to deal with on a daily basis. It’s moments like this where I can go back and thank and appreciate them because we’re here, we’re a winner, got some credibility to my name now.”
Wallace’s victory was also history-making, as he became only the second African-American driver and the first since Wendell Scott in 1963 to score a win in NASCAR’s top series. But as much as Wallace will long savor what happened on Monday at Talladega in his native state of Alabama, he’s already focused on this weekend’s race in his current hometown of Charlotte. “We go back to work … and get focused on the ROVAL,” he said.